Smaller plates, less white food

Since we are doing more boredom eating and likely eating more comfort food, here are a couple of tips that help me keep my weight somewhat level. Use smaller plates and eat less white foods.

The latter is not a race connotation. It is a reference to those fattening carbs – potatoes, rice and breads. And, we sure love those three items. So, the key to their intake, short of abstinence from them, is portion control – use a smaller plate and don’t go back for seconds (or limit what seconds look like).

I have been able to slowly take off and keep off the pounds. This has been an extended journey over five years involving light exercises each morning, walking and hiking and shrinking portions. The key to the latter is eat less of the good tasting, bad foods.

So, what has worked for me are some of the following:
– use a smaller plate for meals
– share meals of take out food (order one steak, potato, salad for the two of you)
– eat fewer potatoes, less rice and only one piece of bread, if you must
– eat bread-less (or maybe one bun) hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches
– when snacking, do not take the bag to the couch, put what you want in a small bowl
– when snacking, filling items like dried fruits or mixed nuts will pacify that hunger pang
– eat more green, red, and yellow foods, especially the green ones

If you are pre-diabetic, watch any fruits because of the sugar intake, and definitely cut down on the carbs, because the body will convert them to sugar. Also, unsalted or lightly salted nuts are better than those laden with salt. If you indulge one night, just make-up for it the next few days. I have a target weight. When I pop over it a few pounds, then I will eat more salads for lunch.

But, please do not take my advice by itself and check with you doctor before you do anything drastic. One final note – know your numbers: weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. This will help you devise a long term plan.

27 thoughts on “Smaller plates, less white food

  1. All such great tips. I was doing quite well until I began volunteering at our drive-thru Farmers Market. Being properly exposed to all that wonderful food every Saturday has encouraged me to buy things I normally wouldn’t, like the most out of this world freshly made asparagus ravioli! And then there are the fresh breads, the smell of which make my mouth stream like a flooding river! When I do bring home a big old delicious loaf of Walnut Levain, I cut it into thirds and freeze 2 of those 3rds. Even so, it’s hard not to devour the entire third that’s on the counter in one sitting!

  2. Note to Readers: Portion control does create humor. My wife laughs at me when I eat half a banana or break a nutrition bar in half as a snack. I’ll bag the remainder and eat tomorrow (or she’ll eat it).

  3. Now Keith … have you ever tried eating a hamburger sans bun??? The lettuce, onion, cheese and mayonnaise get all over your hands, land on your shirt … it’s just a mess! Now, a bunless hot dog is okay, unless you like them with mustard, onions and pickle relish! Oh, and in your list of the three carb-y things, you left out pasta!

    But seriously, this is all good, common-sense advice. I fail the boredom eating test, for the events of the past 3-4 months have ruined my appetite and I currently only manage a few bites at any given meal. I’m thinking about marketing this as a new diet … I shall call it “Jill’s Stress Diet” … maybe even a book and some royalties!

    • Jill, I fully understand the stress diet with seemingly every issue made controversial. I did leave out the pasta, as we probably indulge in that carb more than the others. Yet, my wife buys this little bags of ravioli which serve two, so it limits the intake.

      As for the bunless burgers, a plate will keep it off your blouse or shirt. Keith

    • Hugh, I can understand that coming from someone who has chased a tennis ball. That pasta would prevent you from getting to more balls. Keith

  4. Note to Readers II: I love the small packages of desserts or foods: Activia yogurts are 90 calories, so they make a lighter snack. My wife also buys this little ice cream cups for the same reason. And, so on. Self-limiting portions help me curb my weakness for more.

  5. All good advice. I remember reading that the size of plates today is larger than years ago. Dinner plates today average about 11” in diameter while those in the past were around 9” (I inherited a set of dishes from my mother and can verify that this is true). No wonder our portion sizes have gotten bigger. My husband and I often split our meals and find ourselves completely satisfied when we are done. Nonetheless, keeping our weight during these last few months has been a challenge, for sure.

    • Janis, I did not know that about the plates. My sister gave us a gift card to Outback, so my wife and I will split a steak and order a second salad. I got a Chick Fil A entree salad two days ago and made two meals out of it. It seems I have shrunk my stomach, which helps immensely. Keith

    • Dear Keith and Janis,

      Hello! First of all, congratulations to you on your achieving weight loss!Thank you for sharing your tips about food and health. In return, here are mine to share with both of you regarding maintaining good health through diet and exercise.

      For reasons of health and the environment, I am mostly a vegetarian and occasionally a vegan, even though I consume a little meat infrequently. In any case, I do not have a craze for meat, not to mention that eating less meat is good for the environment for many reasons.

      I also keep my consumption of fat to a minimum, preferably less than 10% of food intake or energy.

      Here are my general guidelines to remaining healthy and slim. I do not necessarily or invariably stick to them very strictly.

      (A) Diet:
      1. 20 minutes before every meal, either drink a glass of water or eat an apple.
      2. Use smaller plates to hold meals.
      3. Cut out all soft drinks, sugary drinks and fruit juices.
      4. Cut out junk food.
      5. Check food label to ensure that the sugar content is below 20%.
      6. Do not add too much sugar to home-cooked food.
      7. Reduce salt intake.
      8. Fast for two days per week. On the fasting day, either eat only one third at every meal, or eat only one meal. Not eating for a whole day or longer is also fine.
      9. Have two rather than three meals a day.
      10. Restrict mealtimes to within an eight-hour period, outside of which drink only water and have no food. In other words, whether a person has one, two or three meals per day, the meal(s) should be consumed within eight hours.

      (B) Exercise:
      1. Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) once or twice a day, or at least once every second day. Each session needs to be as intense as possible and lasting no more than one minute or two, followed by one to a few minutes of rests. Repeat twice. This can be running, skipping or cycling on the spot. Running upstairs and downstairs can also help.
      2. Reduce sitting time by standing to work or study. Buy something like Veridesk or make your own by improvising or using existing materials.
      3. Do some skipping or jumping.
      4. Whatever exercises you do, vary the intensity.
      5. Doing some physically taxing house chores can be helpful too.

      Happy June to you!

      • Soundeagle, there are a lot of great suggestions herein. Thanks. I will likely not leave eating meat, but we have reduced intake in volume and frequency. The sugar and salt intake we try to do, but it sounds like you are more regimented than we are. I like the water idea before meals.

        I will see what I can weave into my exercise regimen. Today, my aerobic workout will be trimmimg holly trees, so I just did light stretching today.

        Thanks for sharing your tips. Keith

  6. This is good advice, Keith. I try to cut carbs as much as I can. I haven’t done a great job of it these days. They opened gyms over here so I might start going. The machines are not close together. It’s also good to drink plenty of water. I’ve been drinking a lot of caffeine. No bueno! Ha ha ha. We’re in a crisis right now is what I tell myself.

    • Lisa, water is good for many reasons, zero calories and flush out the kidneys. I had a kidney stone a few years back, so I cut way back on tea intake,

      I carry a bottle of home made sanitizer in my car, so any time I have any contact or nearness to another, I use that stuff. Be safe. Keith

      • Oh no! I hear those kidney stones are painful! Supposedly they can be flushed out by drinking beer. I don’t know how true that is though. I always carry hand sanitizer with me too. Be safe too!

      • Lisa, they do hurt to pass them. Since I stopped drinking alcohol in 2007, I cannot tell if the beer diet helps. Keith

  7. Great tips, Keith! I did Keto (also Paleo) and lost a lot of weight – but now I’m back to putting food on top of my feelings with our current state of affairs. I’m going to try to cut back on carbs — they’re just so darn comforting!

  8. Keith! omg, when I saw the title ‘… less white food” I thought you’d fallen off of the wagon. I’d a similar experience when craving a BLT for breaky, but found we’d run out of tomatos. I replaced tomato it with mayo, hence BLM, so unwoke!
    Nevertheless, reading on I found your advice meaningful thanks.

      • I’ve got right into the Japanese Kewpie brand mayo. Its something else, especially the wasabi flavoured and the chilli flavoured, yummo. Look for them in your speciality store!

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